Good news! Canada's budget deficit is shrinking even before the federal government introduces its budget cuts. There's an important lesson for the whole world from the Canadian experience: the actions a government might take to reduce its deficit -- cutting spending, raising taxes -- can prolong the recession.
For many, the improving job growth numbers were seen as a sign that the Canadian economy was back on track despite fears that the economy was tipping back towards recession. Dig a little deeper into the numbers, however, and the headline may not be as positive as it first appears. In fact, it could be downright deceiving.
Assuming Mr. Carney and his fiscal policy counterparts maintain their credibility, the country may very well hang on to number one for another year at least. That's good news for business and it might just be the thing that softens the blow to our equity market should the gyrations of the past few months continue.
Although the Harper government has no problem spending money, I believe that they will probably ramp up the cuts that have already started. We must make sure that we are not balancing the books on the backs of the poor. Make no mistake, poverty costs us all. It forces up our tax bills and depresses the economy.
Three subsequent important prime ministers -- Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien and Stephen Harper -- invested their energies cleaning up the wreckage left by Pierre Trudeau. Finally, nobody speculates any more about Canada defaulting on its debt, or splitting apart, or being isolated from all its major allies.
As the economy took another nosedive this week, British Prime Minister David Cameron told the House of Parliament that our own prime minister had gotten "every major [economic] decision right." Stephen Harper returned the favor by lauding Cameron's handling of the British economy. The speech signaled the pair's unity going into the upcoming G20 summit in Cannes in November. It also sparked -- as our own Althia Raj reported -- a scramble by the NDP to make ties with the British Labor Party. In more home news, HuffPost and Indigo -- where our Editor-at-Large, Heather Reisman, is CEO -- have teamed up to observe this week's Banned Books Week. I'll be posting a different book each day that has been banned or challenged somewhere on the planet. Do your bit by choosing your own banned book, and reading it!
Tim Hortons is supersizing their coffee. And that's all you need to know about the Canadian economy. It speaks of prosperity at a time of unease -- a major coffee chain attempting to increase sales when the chains in other countries are laying off workers. But there are, of course, storm clouds on the horizon.